Max Little is a mathematician whose research includes a breakthrough technique to monitor – and potentially screen for – Parkinson's disease through simple voice recordings.

Why you should listen

Max Little is an applied mathematician whose goal is to "see connections between subjects, not boundaries … to see how things are related, not how they are different." He has a background in applied mathematics, statistics, signal processing and computational engineering, and his work has been applied across disciplines like biomedicine, extreme rainfall analysis and forecasting, biophysical signal processing, and hydrogeomorphology and open channel flow measurement. Little is best known for his work on the Parkinson's Voice Initiative, in which he and his team developed a cheap and simple tool that uses precise voice analysis software to detect Parkinson's with 99 percent accuracy. Little is a TEDGlobal 2012 Fellow and a Wellcome Trust-MIT Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Max Little’s TED talk

Max Little on the TED Blog
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Health

The voice detective: Fellows Friday with Max Little, whose Parkinson’s Voice Initiative took off after his TED Talk

December 21, 2012

At TEDGlobal 2012, Max Little (watch his TED Talk) asked the public to contribute voice samples to the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative, a data-gathering project that aims to help develop a way to diagnose the neurological disease quickly, non-invasively and in its early stages. If it succeeds, it could change the quality of care for Parkinson’s […]

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Science

In Short: Parkinson’s Voice Initiative reaches 10K calls, as a restaurant asks you to check your phone

August 17, 2012

Max Little, who gave the recent talk “A test for Parkinson’s with a phone call,” let us know that the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative has reached its goal of collecting 10,000 voice samples — which they needed to ensure the accuracy of their over-the-phone test for the disease. “It’s probably the fastest ever, large-scale Parkinson’s study,” […]

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Health

8 diagnostic tests we could have at our disposal in the near future

August 8, 2012

In yesterday’s TEDTalk, Max Little explained how a 30-second phone call could soon be a diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease, thanks to 7,500 people who’ve placed calls from around the world to ensure the technology’s accuracy. (See how you can get involved at ParkinsonsVoice.org.) This brings up an interesting question — what other medical tests […]

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